Customer stories

Zenchef and Adyen: The recipe for a successful customer experience

Discover how Zenchef is revolutionizing the daily lives of thousands of restaurant owners with Adyen for Platforms.

August 4, 2023
 ·  7 minutes
Cas client Zenchef :

The restaurant sector is one that is constantly evolving to meet the ever-changing shifts in consumer behavior and industry trends. But it isn’t just about serving delicious food and creating a unique ambiance. In order to stand out from competition and deliver the best guest experience, restaurants must navigate their way through the likes of inflation and hiring challenges - all the while ensuring business runs smoothly.

Thanks to its premium and tailored approach, Zenchef has positioned itself as a true partner for restaurant owners – a partner that understands their constraints and addresses their challenges. Founded in 2011, Zenchef is a complete and integrated customer experience management solution, supporting over 11,000 restaurants in approximately 20 countries.

We spoke with Ghislain Rouëssé, VP of Partnerships at Zenchef, to find out more about its services, and its successful partnership with Adyen to power payments.

Day-to-day support for restaurant owners

Zenchef's goal is to help restaurant owners improve their customer experience and increase operational efficiency, all while attracting new customers. 

“Our philosophy is to support restaurant owners before service, during service, and after service,” Ghislain Rouëssé explains. “It's important for restaurant owners to be able to save time on reservations, payments, and management to devote as much energy as possible to their core business, like cooking, customer experience, events, etc.”

This is why Zenchef began by developing reservation and marketing tools, then partnering with Adyen to take things a step further by offering solutions such as online pre-payment, QR code payment at the table, and more.

“With Zenchef, restaurant owners can finally put away the old reservation book with crossed-out names and instead get an overall view of their business,” adds Ghislain.

The best of both worlds for business owners

Visiting a restaurant is an immersive experience playing on all the senses. For Zenchef, the challenge was to strike the perfect balance between automation and the human touch. So by digitizing tasks such as reservations and payments, it frees up staff to channel their energy into an area where technology can’t yet match - customer service. 

Ghislain notes, “When it’s time to pay the bill, you hold your hand up for 10 minutes because the server already has so many things to do. They have to take bread to another table, go and find the point of sale (POS) terminal so the customer can pay, etc. This delay creates tension. For us, that was why payments were a key process that could make the customer experience more streamlined.” With Zenchef, customers can pay their bill directly at the table by scanning a QR code that redirects them to a secure online payment page.

Zenchef helps restaurant owners address other daily challenges too, such as the growing number of no-shows for table reservations. To solve this problem, Zenchef offers a pre-payment system enabling restaurant owners to request that customers pay a portion of their bill in advance, or book special experiences (Valentine's Day dinner, New Year's Eve dinner, the chef's table, etc.). According to Ghislain, “There's nothing worse for a restaurant than an empty chair - it's a net loss. Thanks to this tool, Zenchef enables restaurant owners to secure revenue and generate cash flow upfront.”

Using data to drive the best customer experiences

In a sector marked by fierce competition and upscaling, customer experience has become more critical than ever. When the reservation process is simple, service is smooth, and payment is easy, the overall experience is enhanced, boosting positive feedback.

The customer experience begins even before the customer enters the restaurant, starting with the reservation. With Zenchef SEO tools customers can easily locate their chosen restaurant online and reserve a table within seconds - and even order online. “This initial step opens up the relationship with the customer. Once the customer makes the reservation, the process is straightforward: follow the steps to ensure the customer has a positive dining experience,” says Ghislain.

And through the data collected during this journey, Zenchef helps build customer loyalty. Using payments data, restaurant owners understand their customers better and leverage insights to successfully engage with them. Ghislain sums up: “When you go to a restaurant and everyone inside recognizes you, something happens that is worth all the promotions in the world.”

Zenchef takes full advantage of the payment data provided by Adyen, giving restaurant owners an overview of each customer. For example, how often the customer visits, their average bill, the number of guests, and even their favorite dishes. All this information is processed and relayed in a simple way so it is clear to read and use to the business’ advantage. 

In terms of business model, Zenchef offers a simple and transparent monthly subscription with a fee for each transaction. This creates a transparent system designed to meet restaurants owners’ expectations and satisfy their everyday needs, as Ghislain adds, “From their Zenchef dashboard, restaurant owners can see exactly how much they've paid per transaction.”

Five-star payments with Adyen

Before turning to Adyen in 2021, Zenchef was using several payment service providers (PSPs) at the same time. Ghislain says, “We were looking for a white-label solution that offered competitive pricing and tools to improve authorization rates as much as possible. The only provider that met all of our requirements was Adyen.

The Adyen for Platforms solution, specifically designed for SaaS platforms, enables us to keep close track of data and interactions with restaurant owners, which is a key point for us. Adyen’s solution addresses all our needs and challenges, from technical issues to the cost pressures associated with the restaurant industry.”

Integrating payments via Zenchef Payments marked a turning point in Zenchef’s offering, as it bridged the gap between booking (before) and customer base management (after). With prepayments, card pre-authorization and QR code payments, Zenchef brings something new to the table, as Ghislain explains, “Zenchef has reimagined the payment process and fully adapted it to the food service industry, which means it also addresses the challenges unique to the industry.”

Offering new payment tools is also a way to open up new business opportunities, as Ghislain shares, “For a restaurant owner, it can be difficult to break through a sales ceiling without spending time and resources on expanding their dining space or investing in a new restaurant. We need to help them find other solutions, and offering experiences to customers is one of those solutions.” Zenchef enables restaurant owners to monetize new experiences through its pre-payment system, for example, putting on themed nights based around fine wines or offering a chef's table. The pre-payment system secures their working capital (cash in before cash out) and generates new revenue streams. 

Today, Adyen processes a large proportion of the payments made on Zenchef in France, helping the company expand across Europe. Ghislain concludes, “Adyen’s international capabilities, as well as its knowledge of local payment trends and the applicable regulations in each country, are an invaluable resource to Zenchef.”

Find out more about Adyen for Platforms, our solution for SaaS platforms.

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